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Rigondeaux faces Dickens this Saturday

Guillermo Rigondeaux

By Scott Gilfoid: #11 WBA Jazza Dickens (22-1, 7 KOs) will be facing unbeaten WBA World super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (16-0, 10 KOs) this Saturday night at the Ice Arena in Cardiff, Wales. Rigondeaux, 35, is quite pleased that he was able to get Dickens to agree to a fight against him because he’s been unable to get many of the other top super bantamweights to agree to fight him.

Dickens, 25, isn’t in the same position to avoid the Rigondeaux fight as the other top fighters, because he’s a fringe contender and not considered a major player in the division. When you’re ranked near the bottom of the World Boxing Associations top 15 rankings like Dickens currently is, you can’t afford to be choosy about which champion you face.

Dickens would likely prefer to fight a champion like Nonito Donaire or Hugo Ruiz, but since neither of those fighters are currently offering him a fight, then he’s got to take on the champion that is offering him a match.

Dickens has won his last seven fights since being stopped in the 11th round by Kid Galahad in 2013. Dickens’ opposition has been mostly subpar, but he did beat a decent fighter in Martin Ward last November in winning a 12 round split decision. It was cose, but Dickens used his size to get the victory. In Dickens’ last fight, he defeated 33-year-old journeyman Reynaldo Cajina (13-35-5, 10 KOs) by a 6th round stoppage last March. It was a good win by Dickens, but it wasn’t the kind of victory that would give you the belief that Dickens will be able to hold his own against a fighter as good as Rigondeaux on Saturday night.

“I would like to show my respect and gratitude to Dickens for having the courage to take this fight,” said Rigondeaux. “Dickens is the only super-bantamweight in the world that has the guts to step in the ring with me. All of the others like to talk and talk but they don’t have the courage to actually fight. They know where to find me; I’m here and I’m ready to face anyone in the world. I’m quicker than Fedex and better than UPS.

Rigondeaux will eventually get the top fighters in the 122lb division to fight him, but he may need to age some more, and start to look old before he can get them to face him. Rigondeaux is too good right now for the top guys to want to fight him. If Rigondeaux had a large fan base, he would get more fight offers. He doesn’t have a large fan base in the United States to help lure the other top guys to fight him.

Dickens has very little chance of beating Rigondeaux, but anything is possible. Rigondeaux is about to turn 36, and he might get old overnight. Rigondeaux looked very good in his last fight against featherweight Drian Francisco last November on the Miguel Cotto vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez card on HBO PPV. Rigondeaux toyed with a big puncher in Francisco in beating him with ease. Dickens would likely lose to Francisco if he were to fight him.


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